Judge dismisses 2nd suit over Cedar Rapids highway

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — For the second time in three days, a judge is dismissing a lawsuit filed by environmentalists seeking to block construction of a Cedar Rapids highway through a nature preserve.

U.S. District Judge Stephanie Rose ruled Monday that federal transportation officials acted lawfully in backing the plan to extend Highway 100 through the Rock Island County Preserve.

She threw out a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club, which says the roughly $200 million project would threaten butterflies, turtles and other rare and endangered wildlife and plants.

The Iowa Supreme Court threw out a similar state lawsuit Friday, ruling the group had failed to exhaust its administrative remedies.

Rose rejected the substance of the group’s claims, saying federal officials did “thoroughly evaluate all reasonable alternatives” but found none of them were feasible.

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